Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES, SCALE, CLIMATE VARIABILITY, AND WATER RESOURCES FOR SEMIARID WATERSHED MANAGEMENT

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Title: Long-term data collection at USDA experimental sites for studies of ecohydrology 1955

Authors
item Moran, Mary
item Peters, Debra
item Mcclaran, M. - UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
item Nichols, Mary
item Adams, M. - USDA-FS

Submitted to: Agriculture and Forest Meterology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2008
Publication Date: May 2, 2008
Citation: Moran, M.S., Peters, D.C., Mcclaran, M., Nichols, M.H., Adams, M. 2008. Long-term data collection at USDA experimental sites for studies of ecohydrology (abstract). 28th Conference on Agriculture and Forest Meteorology, 28 April - 2 May, Orlando, FL. 1955 . Agriculture and Forest Meterology.

Interpretive Summary: The goal of this review is to show the value of long-term, continuous data from the network of USDA experimental watersheds, forests and ranges for studying the interaction between ecology and hydrology, termed ecohydrology. We identified 81 USDA experimental sites with data records of more than 20 years measuring important ecosystem dynamics, such as variations in vegetation, precipitation, climate, runoff, water quality and soil moisture. Through a series of examples, we showed how USDA long-term data have been used to understand key ecohydrological issues, including 1) critical thresholds and cyclic trends, 2) time lags between cause and effects, 3) context of rare and extreme events and 4) land surface simulation modeling. New analyses of network-wide, long-term data from USDA experimental sites were used to explore the scales of temporal and spatial measurement required for ecological and hydrological research. The results underscored the need for continuous, interdisciplinary data records spanning more than 20 years across a wide range of ecosystems within and outside the conterminous U.S. for key ecohydrological research. The basic conclusion is that USDA experimental sites play a unique and important role in addressing the major crosscutting problems facing ecohydrology, such as spatial complexity and scaling, thresholds, and feedbacks and interactions. Conversely, the heightened interest in ecohydrology has impacted USDA experimental sites by encouraging new long-term data collection efforts and adapting existing long-term data collection networks to address new science issues.

Technical Abstract: The goal of this review is to show the value of long-term, continuous data from the network of USDA experimental watersheds, forests and ranges for studying the interaction between ecology and hydrology, termed ecohydrology. We identified 81 USDA experimental sites with data records of more than 20 years measuring important ecosystem dynamics, such as variations in vegetation, precipitation, climate, runoff, water quality and soil moisture. Through a series of examples, we showed how USDA long-term data have been used to understand key ecohydrological issues, including 1) critical thresholds and cyclic trends, 2) time lags between cause and effects, 3) context of rare and extreme events and 4) land surface simulation modeling. New analyses of network-wide, long-term data from USDA experimental sites were used to explore the scales of temporal and spatial measurement required for ecological and hydrological research. The results underscored the need for continuous, interdisciplinary data records spanning more than 20 years across a wide range of ecosystems within and outside the conterminous U.S. for key ecohydrological research. The basic conclusion is that USDA experimental sites play a unique and important role in addressing the major crosscutting problems facing ecohydrology, such as spatial complexity and scaling, thresholds, and feedbacks and interactions. Conversely, the heightened interest in ecohydrology has impacted USDA experimental sites by encouraging new long-term data collection efforts and adapting existing long-term data collection networks to address new science issues.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014